Call Me not Goddess. Once I was Great Mother, Goddess of all, the Earth Herself. Now, Only Gaia remains, She is the Earth, but She has lost Her soul.
At the beginning of time, I was worshiped, loved, honored. I gave unto you and yours agriculture, medicine, animal husbandry, math, and written language. They were My Gifts, but they were turned against me, and now I am alone.
I loved you. All of you. I loved you, the birds, the trees, the mammoths and fish, the fruit, the flowers, termites and beetles, spiders that can kill with just one bite, scorpions, forests, mountains, plains, deserts, oceans, the very dirt and lava of which the planet is made. Of all of these, only you could fully comprehend Me, and so I bestowed on you that which would give you reign over it all. And yet you cast Me aside.
And now I am lonely.
Call Me not Goddess, call Me Myth, for surely that is all I am.
Why have I come to this? I am no longer Goddess, no one calls out one of My Names to the stars, I am hidden in Saints and Virgin Mothers, rather than being Virgin, Mother, and Crone. I am reduced to Sweat on ponchos and statues in churches dedicated to another. My works are reduced to fairies and sprites, coincidence and chance. I exist only because of the love of the image of the Virgin Mother, a facet of me. I am now only capable of interceding on human behalf. Not that I am opposed. I am happy to exist, for that is what the strongest part of Me is. Maybe someday the War-bringer portion of Me will be brought out again. What a tragedy that would be! Yet, if the Christ-God can demand it, I can and must be present. Call me Virgin Mary, Saint Brigid, Parvati. Someday you will again call me Kali, Morrigan, Lilith! Someday I will be both War Goddess, Bringer of Death, and Mother Goddess, loving and sweet! Someday...
Fatima is kneeling in front of the statue of Parvati, somewhere west of the Indus River. She is lighting incense, praying to be a good wife and mother, meek and loving. Though never mentioned in the Vedas, Parvati is the second consort of Shiva, and mother of Wisdom, Ganesha.
Her popularity has grown over time, and She has become many goddesses in one.
As Fatima stares through the tendrils of smoke rising from her incense, she can see the mural of Parvati, four arms and Son Ganesha with her, hand making the gesture of fearlessness. Then the world shifts. Fatima still sees the hand of fearlessness, of boundless courage, and the face is still lovely, it is darker, the eyes wider. Ganesha is gone and there is a tiger beneath the Goddess. The mural continues to morph as Fatima’s eyes are half lidded in meditation, comprehending and not all at once. The Goddess has become dark skinned, still bare breasted, but holding a spear, and her tiger is beginning to grin. A demon emerges in the form of a boar, and the tiger leaves Durga (for that is who Parvati is and is not) to fight the demon. While the Demon mocks Durga’s womanhood, She casts her spear, killing the Demon by striking from him his manhood and letting his blood flow. The tiger begins to feast.
Everything is shifting again. Suddenly the tiger is gone. Durga’s smiling face is transformed into blackness, eyes white beaming from a black figure, naked but for belt and necklace of human skulls. She is impossibly large and holding different weapons in each of her eight arms and waving them about, ready to kill and feast on blood. Below her is a battlefield, men in armor and leather fighting one another, some have farm tools, others have swords curved wickedly and there is blood everywhere. Carrion birds are soaring, but they are not as high up as Kali (for this is who Durga is and is not, and who Parvati is and is not).
For a moment Fatima’s meditation is on the Goddesses of war, the parts of the Goddess that women are encouraged not to love. Men can love Kali, but few do, and battles are not common in this area. Mostly it is massacres from the Muslims on her people, and her village has been lucky. But there they are, the Goddesses bare for her to see, for her to worship. For her to love. Love Them she did, all of Them, giving each more power in the reality of Fatima’s world. Even that tiny moment is a balm to the Mother Goddess who gives and takes lives. When the smoke is clear and Fatima is coming out of her meditation, she feels as if everything is right and good, and her prayers have been answered. She cannot tell you why, but she feels as if the Goddess has touched her. She goes home and is a wonderful wife and mother, loving her husband and children with everything she has. When she dreams, she dreams of many arms and spears, demons and battles, but they are quickly forgotten in the hustle of the day. But for Parvati/Durga/Kali, is enough. For now. Enough.
Fatima’s village is never attacked while she lives, but sometimes Muslims are found dead nearby, apparently eaten by tigers and missing skulls.